BB2 2018 - A List of Game Balance and Team Diversity suggestions

Hello and welcome to another way-too-ambitious thread of mine. I am Isarnwolf alias Sir Ironclad and would like BB2 to be a little bit more balanced and interesting, because it has the potential to be an incredible competitive game in this day and age. To me the most fun way of doing game balance is summed up by "make everything op" and "rock-paper-scissors": Strong and most importantly unique signature mechanics, that counter each other.

By simply comparing the team rosters there's already a lot of diversity to be found in Blood Bowl. In fact all the hallmarks mentioned above are there on paper, with the exception that Blood Bowl doesn't just feature teams with unique strengths and weaknesses, but rather rosters that are clearly much stronger or weaker than others. Combine that with the meta situation in BB2, especially high TV Champion Ladder, and things start to look quite bleak.

Ideally CL would get its own ruleset in the future and change slightly each season, to react to trends and keep things fresh. Even better Cyanide would add a team editor for creating completely custom teams where anything goes and allow way more custom rules options for leagues.

So without further ado and to keep it as concise and simple as possible I'm just gonna list some suggestions based on the principles above in reaction to the CL meta, while making them fit the fluff.

General Changes

  • BB2016 MVP rule (choose three MVPs, one of the three gets the MVP randomly)
  • add the Argue the Call rule from BB2016 (chance to keep otherwise sent off players)
  • Apothecaries produce MNG results at worst and can be used AFTER a Regeneration failure (buff to Trolls and Vampires)
  • Stadium upgrades can be funded bit by bit, without affecting TV
  • replace the Royal Box stadium upgrade with "Royal Apothecary": Both coaches can heal one of their players after their match, never fails
  • any amount of gold can be transferred to a player fund where it can be used solely to buy new players without affecting TV
  • no more Loner on rostered players (Big Guys that weren't hired during the inducement phase)
  • if you fail a Really Stupid, Bonehead, or Wild Animal roll on a Blitz, you can choose a different player to blitz with that does not have any such negatrait
  • all Star Players gain Pro
  • all Star Players above 100k cost 10% less, rounded up (e.g. Helmut would cost 100k and Morg 'n' Thorg 390k)

Skill Changes

  • Fend players can only be fouled if stunned
  • Sneaky Git also functions like Guard on foul assists
  • Hail Mary Pass no longer requires a dice roll, but still causes a turnover
  • Piling On player is stunned when rolling a double on an armour roll, and knocked out when rolling a double on an injury roll (when Piling On)
  • Grab can surf players as long as they stand next to the sideline and can be taken with Frenzy (only to cancel Side Step for Blitzes)
  • Claw does not stack with Mighty Blow on armour rolls

Amazon

  • Throwers gain Sure Hands

Bretonnian

  • RRs to 60k
  • Linemen (Peasants) lose Fend and gain Dirty Player
  • Blockers (Yeomen) to 60k
  • Blitzers (Knights) to AV9 for 120k

Chaos

  • RRs to 70k
  • Minotaur loses Loner

Chaos Dwarf

  • RRs to 80k
  • Minotaur loses Loner, gains natural M access

Dark Elf

  • 2 Blitzers
  • Assassins to MA7, AV8 and Block for 130k (Blitzers with Shadowing and Stab)

Dwarf

  • Deathroller to 150k, loses Loner

Elven Union

  • 4 Blitzers

Goblin

  • RRs to 50k
  • Trolls lose Loner
  • Pogoer gains G access
  • Bombardier gains P access
  • Add the Doom Diver and Ooligan from BB2016

Halfling

  • RRs to 50k
  • 3 Treemen, gain Timmm-ber! skill from BB2016 (helps with standing up Treemen)

High Elf

  • Catchers to AV8 for 100k

Human

  • Blitzers to 80k
  • Ogre loses Loner

Khemri

  • Thro-Ras gain Thick Skull
  • Blitz-Ras gain Thick Skull
  • Tomb Guardians lose Decay, Regeneration replaced with "Everliving" (Regeneration on a 2+)

Kislev Circus

  • Catchers to 70k
  • Blitzers to 100k
  • Tame Bear to 160k, loses Loner, gains Dirty Player (Have you seen that fouling animation?!)

Lizardman

  • Kroxigor to 150k, loses Loner

Necromantic

  • RRs to 60k

Norse

  • Throwers gain Sure Hands

Nurgle

  • Warriors to 100k

Ogre

  • RRs to 60k
  • Ogres to 130k (same as Humans)

Orc

  • Throwers to 60k
  • Troll loses Loner

Skaven

  • Rat Ogre loses Loner

Undead

  • no changes

Underworld Denizens

  • RRs to 50k
  • Skaven players lose Animosity
  • Warpstone Troll loses Loner

Vampire

  • RRs to 50k
  • Thralls to AV8 for 50k
  • Vampires to MA7

Wood Elf

  • RRs to 60k
  • Treeman loses Loner
last edited by Isarnwolf

Blatantly overambitious but I would give a "thumbs up" to the vast majority of the changes listed

Even better Cyanide would add a team editor for creating completely custom teams where anything goes and allow way more custom rules options for leagues.

Now this I would be totally in favour of and have been since this game has been in alpha. I'd go beyond that and allow league managers to select which races are allowed and which rules are in play in their own leagues, including defaults such as BB2016 and CRP and variations thereof. Creation of new races allowed in each league, that sort of thing. The rest you can keep.

last edited by dode74

I would be interested in seeing Zon Blitzers get av8 and the Catchers ma7 respectively with a 10k price increase on top of the thrower buff to make them scale more smoothly into higher tv while raising their reroll cost by 10k to try and avoid min-maxing at the 1000-1300 range.

The Brettonian change is probably the most out there and while I do love the idea of av9 Knights giving Peasants Dirty player while cutting the price of their normal starting roster by 20k allowing them a 12 man bench with 4 dirty players and 8 players with blocking related skills is pretty outrageous. I would probably like to see the yeomen as they are the Knights as you describe and the Peasants either made identical to Thralls/Hobs or Changed to 5-3-2-6 no skills 30k.

I am not sold on breaking the 4 warriors 3 rerolls setup most of us use and would rather see a substantial cost increase on the Mino should loner on big guys be removed

The same argument as before, better to let people keep the rosters they know and love and raise the cost of the minotaur in accordance with its now Terrific presence on the field

While I like cutting blitzers and buffing the remaining positionals That Assasin is pretty over the top. You could give it an additional point in movement allowance and either block or dodge but making a positional identical to a blitzer, only with Stab and Shadowing for 20k is too much.

I honestly don't know what to think of such a massive buff to the Roller, nor do I know the scope of what impact it would have. Probably excessive but would be interesting to see it fielded on a competitive roster.

While this would give Pro Elves a lot more of a unique flair I feel 4 blodgesteppers early on is going to be too much for many teams to deal with. Raising their reroll cost by 10k as well might be enough to compensate but I am not sure

I would love to see those lunatics buffed. I agree on everything except my distaste of the Ooligan as a positional.

Again Stunties beating people up is hilarious so the more Treemen the merrier. Might want to raise their cost by 10k though.

I would be more tempted to see High Elves given the Pro Elf treatment but this would be just fine to see implemented.

I would probably Up the Human Ogres cost in line with the Ogre Ogre or even slightly Higher. Suddenly removing loner on big guys while something I would love to see does affect the overall balance of the game massively. The Blitzer change would allow human teams to keep their old rosters even with a more expensive Ogre so I am all for it.

I am in love with the Khemri changes but this has to warrant a 20k cost increase on the Tomb Guardians at least.

Removing Diving Catch for Dodge on the Catchers would give them a nice buff early on that they really need. Not sure if the Blitzer cost reduction can be Justified and while the Tame bear without Loner Should well cost around 160k, I wouldn't give it Dirty Player 😉

Lizards can be kept as is just increase the cost of the Kroxigor to at least 160k if not more should it lose loner.

More options for their starting lineup is nice. neat little buff to Necro seeing as they don't get going immediately.

As with all the other Big Guys, the Yheety would have to see a substantial cost increase. Otherwise, I am all for making the thrower actually relevant.

Nurgle could Certainly do with the Wriggle room early on, way more so than Necro. Same as before removing loner on the Beast warrants a substantial cost increase.

I would Probably keep the Ogre Ogres at 140k while making the Human Ogre 150k cost reduction in rerolls and raising the cap on Ogres from 0-6 to 0-8 would be neat and put them in line with the other buffed Stunties though.

An Orc Thrower is definitely 60k in terms of value so no complaints there. Troll would have to have its cost raised though.

A substantial cost Increase to the Rogre is probably warranted to prevent every roster imaginable fielding one.

Undead dont warrant any changes i agree.

Warpstone Troll from 110k to 130-140k is definitely warranted. The reroll cost reduction would be nice to compensate for that.

This is an immense buff, I am unsure where Vamps would settle at but this might be too much. Raising Vampire ma and making them cost 10k extra while keeping the thralls as is is probalby safer. The reroll cost reduction by 20k is really nice though seeing as it allows them a much needed bench early on.

Rerolls would have to cost more absolutely lest the world turn mad. You would also have to raise the cost of the Tree by either 20 or 30k.

All in all, I love the changes, for the most part, granted some things are quite out there

last edited by Ducke

There are tons of suggestions of similar ambitious kind on this forum, I've personally posted around a dozen. Many of them are quite vital things greatly enhancing usability for regular users and league commissars. I expect that around 0,5-5% of them will be implemented in BB2/in foreseeable future, at best 😉 Especially now when it's confirmed that Cyanide are working on a new Spacehulk game.

last edited by Mori-Mori

But overall, I agree with @dode74 - there just should be an editor so anybody could create their own rosters to use in their league. What you're suggesting won't fit in official leagues for sure, as those changes have high impact on balance, and of course you've spent around 0 hours actually testing them. And of course because this would created discrepancy with the official ruleset, even if it's outdated already with rise of BB2016. Still, it's a lot of devs' work hours spent on very questionable adjustments. This belongs to custom team editor and private leagues. And won't happen in BB2, I'm already almost sure..

last edited by Mori-Mori

Yeah, any option for leagues to implement their own house rules would be brilliant. Chances are you are correct in that we won't see it in bb2 sadly

This sounds more and more like: "Open the game for modding!"

Modding on a league by league basis (or even competition by competition) is a good idea, and something that has been asked for since BB1 was released.

As for the balance ideas suggested for the teams, well, the less said about most of them the better. 👎

I'm not sure what kind of response you are expecting here. There's some interesting discussion-worthy suggestions here, but they are far too many at once for there to be really possible to have a discussion that is realistic for people to keep track of.

Nevertheless, I'm intrigued enough to want to respond to some of the specific suggestions.

  • BB2016 MVP rule (choose three MVPs, one of the three gets the MVP randomly)
  • add the Argue the Call rule from BB2016 (chance to keep otherwise sent off players)

Sure, adding in the not too disruptive/controversial changes from tabletop seems like a good idea, it's positive to keep the games similar.

  • replace the Royal Box stadium upgrade with "Royal Apothecary": Both coaches can heal one of their players after their match, never fails

I think this would be too powerful in perpetual leagues. Reducing attrition is pretty much the holy grail of stadium enhancements, and this does it way too well. Only crazy people would ever pick any other enhancement in perpetual leagues. If you like balance, that's a bad thing.

  • any amount of gold can be transferred to a player fund where it can be used solely to buy new players without affecting TV

I like this.

  • no more Loner on rostered players (Big Guys that weren't hired during the inducement phase)

So this seems to be one of the more controversial changes you suggest, judging from responses. I actually like it though. Big guy stars are fun, and removing loner would make it more viable to make big guys the stars of your team.

There might be a risk that it would make them overpowered. I don't really think so though, seeing as Ogres are considered a bottom tier team despite being able to field 5 loner-less big guys. I suspect just the big guy drawbacks is enough to keep them a bit in check and they probably don't actually need loner on top of that.

  • if you fail a Really Stupid, Bonehead, or Wild Animal roll on a Blitz, you can choose a different player to blitz with that does not have any such negatrait

I don't like this. It being risky to rely on a big guy has a nice flavor to it.

  • all Star Players gain Pro
  • all Star Players above 100k cost 10% less, rounded up (e.g. Helmut would cost 100k and Morg 'n' Thorg 390k)

I would be fine with either of these changes individually, but not both together.

Skill Changes

  • Fend players can only be fouled if stunned
  • Sneaky Git also functions like Guard on foul assists

I'd be ok with these if they were imported from tabletop, in the interest of keeping the games similar. If they are not though, I'm against them for the same reason. I don't find them interesting enough to warrant inconsistant rules.

  • Hail Mary Pass no longer requires a dice roll, but still causes a turnover

A risk-free punt? That seems very un-blood bowl. I'm against it. I'm also one of those crazy people that think the skill is already kinda good though, so maybe my vote doesn't count.

  • Piling On player is stunned when rolling a double on an armour roll, and knocked out when rolling a double on an injury roll (when Piling On)

I don't like nerfing piling on. Imo it's not a problematic skill as is.

  • Grab can surf players as long as they stand next to the sideline and can be taken with Frenzy (only to cancel Side Step for Blitzes)

Please no. Sidelines are scary enough as it is.

  • Claw does not stack with Mighty Blow on armour rolls

Yeah, if you wanna nerf kill-stack, this is definitely the way to do it.

I especially like that they would still actually be good together. You'd be less likely to break armor, but once you do mighty blow would always help on the injury roll. So people would still build kill Chaos the same, it would just be slightly less good. I think that's a desired outcome.

Bretonnian

  • RRs to 60k
  • Linemen (Peasants) lose Fend and gain Dirty Player
  • Blockers (Yeomen) to 60k
  • Blitzers (Knights) to AV9 for 120k

I like the reroll change. It makes fluff sense since Brettonians shouldn't be much less organised than a regular human team.

I really like the blitzer change, cause they have full plate and the stats really ought to reflect that.

Blocker buff seems unneccessary.

Peasant change is crazy talk. The cheapest possible dirty player currently costs 60k (a hobgoblin with a normal skill). That's already a very good player. A diry player for 40k would be rediculous. Half a team of them would be even worse.

Chaos

  • RRs to 70k

I don't like this. Reroll cost represent how well organized a team is, it has fluff significance. Simply changing it for balance reasons is therefore something I don't like. If you want to buff or nerf a team, there are always other ways.

Chaos Dwarf

  • RRs to 80k
  • Minotaur loses Loner, gains natural M access

I don't like the reroll change for the same reason I don't like it on Chaos. In fact from a fluff point of view I would rather want to reduce their cost :P.

Minotaur change make balance sense, but not really fluff sense. Why would the mino be more prone to mutate than the dwarves?

Dark Elf

  • 2 Blitzers
  • Assassins to MA7, AV8 and Block for 130k (Blitzers with Shadowing and Stab)

If you want to make assassins relevant, this is probably the best way to do it.

I'm not sure I like it though. Stab is such a dissappointingly underwhelming skill, so forcing people to play with it might just cause unneccessary unhappyness.

I also don't like how it would make low TV dark elves worse.

On the plus side shadowing is kinda fun.

Elven Union

  • 4 Blitzers

I think this change would instantly propel Elven Union into becoming the strongest elf team, by a pretty large margin.

Elven Union positionals overall are very strong, and they pay for that with semi-lackluster linemen. Or actually, the linemen are kinda good cause of their tv efficiency, but nevertheless they are a negative counterweight in pure powerlevel.

Allowing 2 more positional both means you get two more amazing positionals and have to field two less linemen, so it's sort of a double buff there. Add to that that these two positionals you add have av8, which reduces another of the teams main weaknesses. So really this change is three buffs in one, to a team that imo doesn't really need a buff at all.

Goblin

  • RRs to 50k
  • Trolls lose Loner
  • Pogoer gains G access
  • Bombardier gains P access
  • Add the Doom Diver and Ooligan from BB2016

I don't much like the reroll change, for fluff reasons.

Other changes seem fine to me.

Halfling

  • RRs to 50k
  • 3 Treemen, gain Timmm-ber! skill from BB2016 (helps with standing up Treemen)

I don't actually have a problem with this reroll change. Halflings being well organized makes sense. They are pretty much tiny humans, after all.

Third tree seems fine too. It would make the team a lot better for sure, but I doubt they will break any metas.

High Elf

  • Catchers to AV8 for 100k

From a balance point of view I like this. It helps the team out where they need it.

It seems a bit wierd in a fluff sense though. Elven catchers have low armor so they arn't weighed down, allowing them to run really fast. Getting both at the same time shouldn't really be possible. Unless, maybe, I guess, if the high elves are using their vast pockets to buy some kind of magical ultra-lightweight armor. I suppose high elves would be the right team for that kinda thing.

Human

  • Blitzers to 80k
  • Ogre loses Loner

Humans could use a buff, I agree on that. I don't think reducing the cost of the blitzer is the right way though. Their blitzers are actually really good players, so reducing their cost just seems wrong.

I would prefer giving them access to 6 blitzers and keeping them at 90k.

Khemri

  • Thro-Ras gain Thick Skull
  • Blitz-Ras gain Thick Skull
  • Tomb Guardians lose Decay, Regeneration replaced with "Everliving" (Regeneration on a 2+)

Everliving seems like overkill. Apparantly they were given decay because without that they were considered overpowered. Now that is widely considered an overnerf. Let's not react to that overnerf with an overbuff. I'm for just removing decay though.

Ogre

  • RRs to 60k
  • Ogres to 130k (same as Humans)

Seems fair.

Vampire

  • RRs to 50k
  • Thralls to AV8 for 50k
  • Vampires to MA7

I don't think Vamps need quite that much help. They are already an almost very good team.

I could see one of these changes being good though, but definitely not all or even two of them at once. All of them kinda work with fluff.

My least favourite is the av8 thrall one, since it makes sense for them to be lightly dressed to make them easy to bite. I've seen it suggested in other places that you can give them thick skull, to make KOs from being bitten less common. I think that would be a better change than the av8.

I like giving vamps ma7 the most though, that would make them so fun to play :).

Wood Elf

  • RRs to 60k
  • Treeman loses Loner

I don't like the reroll change, why would wood elves be less organized than other elves?

I think the loner thing is too powerful, makes things too predictable.

But, I could imagine something like:

Allow removal of loner-trait/nega-trait on roll of double for skill-ups.

I mean, it makes sense, there are big guy star players out there who don't have nega-traits and why wouldn't a team accept a very successful team-mate as an integral part?

@ugh said in BB2 2018 - A List of Game Balance and Team Diversity suggestions:

Allow removal of loner-trait/nega-trait on roll of double for skill-ups.

It's been tried. It's too good.

@dode74

Well, it can't be as good as removing (one of) these things completely from the get-go. 😉

No, it's not. But it's still too good.

@dode74 said in BB2 2018 - A List of Game Balance and Team Diversity suggestions:

It's been tried. It's too good.

"Too good" as determined by the same metric that built the rest of the system, which is the BBRC's eyeballing, correct? I'd be interested to know the actual effect as opposed to what a couple of people felt about it.

@dode74

I'd also be interested in how this being 'too good' actually manifested.

Also, was TV-value of such an upgrade experimented with? (If it's too good, maybe it needs to just be more expensive, TV wise?)

You'd need to ask those involved in the testing. I know the BBRC did some statistical analysis at the time (courtesy of Doubleskulls) but have not seen it myself.

@dode74 said in BB2 2018 - A List of Game Balance and Team Diversity suggestions:

You'd need to ask those involved in the testing. I know the BBRC did some statistical analysis at the time (courtesy of Doubleskulls) but have not seen it myself.

The divine and holy most impeccable BBRC also "tested" Clawpomb.

I tried to go for suggestions that are very much self-explanatory to anyone that's ever followed a season of Champion Ladder lately. My biggest goals were increasing diversity between teams, making teams fluffier and specifically for
CL add more ways to better deal with attrition and nerf the most prevalent and most powerful high TV attrition
slightly. The reason for the latter is that I believe the coolest part of CL is to see amazing teams play each other in the playoffs. I want the Champion Cups to be as close and exciting as possible, that's all.

There's been a lot of really nice constructive feedback with a lot of effort put in, so I'm gonna work on a second improved and much more detailed draft that's going to be approved by Jimmy, Ducke and Crucifer and whoever else wants to jump aboard.

@isarnwolf said in BB2 2018 - A List of Game Balance and Team Diversity suggestions:

The divine and holy most impeccable BBRC also "tested" Clawpomb.

Which is still not been shown to be a problem, despite the constant whining of pixelhuggers.

@darkson said in BB2 2018 - A List of Game Balance and Team Diversity suggestions:

Which is still not been shown to be a problem, despite the constant whining of pixelhuggers.

Avin a giggle, mate?

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